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MNE celebrates holidays with time-honored traditions

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Christmas spirit is alive and well on the Mercyhurst North East campus, where two longtime beloved events are planned to ring in the holiday season.

On Saturday, Dec. 6, an expected 130 children will visit campus for a day of fun Christmas activities, including a Christmas carol singalong, cookie decorating, storytelling, and a make-an-ornament craft. Santa Claus, who sounds a lot like English instructor Jacob Lanyon, will also make an appearance, bringing a gift for each child.

Children ages 4 to 11 from North East Elementary Center and St. Gregory School in North East are invited to the event, which lasts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Afterward, the kids will meet their parents at Liguori Fieldhouse, where they can hang around and see the Mercyhurst North East men’s and women’s basketball teams take on Lakeland Community College.

Mercyhurst North East Student Government Association and Assistant Student Life Director Rachel Pacholke organized the event, with more than 40 student volunteers on board to buddy up with the kids, help out at the activity stations or dress up as Santa’s elves.

Christmas on Campus, now in its 23rd year, has become a longstanding tradition at Mercyhurst North East, one the students look forward to just as much as the kids, according to Pacholke.

“Our students are always eager to help out with this event,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to welcome kids from the community onto campus and celebrate Christmas.”

Also coming up on Wednesday, Dec. 10, is the concert choir performance "Resounding Joy," an offering of the Mercyhurst North East Cultural Series.

In this annual holiday favorite, the Mercyhurst University Concert Choir, Collegiate Singers and the Carpe Diem Women, under the direction of Rebecca Ryan, will present a concert of traditional carols and a special work, "Magnificat," by the great-grandfather of Giacomo Puccini. Small ensembles and student soloists will also be featured in the concert.

The concert, which will take place at St. Mary’s Chapel at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public. After the show, all are welcome to a cookie and punch reception.